A MOUNTAIN OF MITTENS

Where do all those lost mittens go? Despite Mommy’s warning not to leave her mittens at school, young Molly does, but for a good cause: She uses them to warm up a shivering turtle in her classroom’s terrarium. Mr. Jolly, her teacher, rescues them and puts them on the lost-and-found pile, prompting the refrain, oft-repeated, “Mittens, mittens, my, oh, my, a mountain of mittens piled up high.” In subsequent days, Mommy tries Velcro, crocheting, duct tape, etc., to keep Molly from losing her mittens. Apparently, it’s a school-wide epidemic: When the principal Mrs. Folly announces that students will not be able to leave the school without mittens, she triggers a rush on the mitten pile, as well as a hilarious disaster. Vane’s busy illustrations—in watercolor and dip-pen and India ink—are full of quirky additional jokes. A happy and sublimely silly tale—but why is a book about mittens publishing in the summer? (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: July 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-1-57091-585-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2007

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THE BEST CHEF IN SECOND GRADE

An impending school visit by a celebrity chef sends budding cook Ollie into a tailspin. He and his classmates are supposed to bring a favorite family food for show and tell, but his family doesn’t have a clear choice—besides, his little sister Rosy doesn’t like much of anything. What to do? As in their previous two visits to Room 75, Kenah builds suspense while keeping the tone light, and Carter adds both bright notes of color and familiar home and school settings in her cartoon illustrations. Eventually, Ollie winkles favorite ingredients out of his clan, which he combines into a mac-and-cheese casserole with a face on top that draws delighted praise from the class’s renowned guest. As Ollie seems to do his kitchen work without parental assistance, a cautionary tip or two (and maybe a recipe) might not have gone amiss here, but the episode’s mouthwatering climax and resolution will guarantee smiles of contentment all around. (Easy reader. 6-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-06-053561-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2007

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THIS SCHOOL YEAR WILL BE THE BEST!

On the first day of school, this primary-grade teacher encourages her students to share their hopes for the coming year. In one- or two-page spreads, the wishes unfold: for the best seat on the bus, a chocolate fountain at lunch, to kick the ball into the right goal, not to be a vegetable in the school play. The quotidian-but-nevertheless-marvelous (“at least one snow day”) mixes with the slightly ridiculous (“We’ll have Skateboard Day”) to provide a kid-level survey of anticipated fun. Andriani’s line-and-watercolor cartoons likewise mix the fanciful (one little boy brings his giant purple boa constrictor for show-and-tell) and the realistic (two girls jump double Dutch as one of them imagines making friends in her new school). A catalog more than a story, this agreeable book could act as a fruitful springboard for class brainstorming. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: July 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-525-42275-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2010

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